Discover Puerto Rico: #CoverTheProgress

A year after back-to-back hurricanes, Puerto Rico was bracing for yet another storm, this time from the world’s media all eager to re-air the worst of the disaster and poke holes in the recovery effort. We had to do something proactive to stop the anticipated tidal wave of negative coverage. We returned to the town where desperate residents once painted a huge ‘SOS’ that became viral, and re-painted it with a new message, presenting it as a celebration of the resilient community, a welcome to visitors, and an invitation to media to #CoverTheProgress, instead of the devastation.

By convincing media to Cover the Progress instead of the hurricane’s devastation, and emphasizing the importance of tourism for the economy, one year and 14.5 billion media impressions later, public relations helped put Puerto Rico back in business. Perception of Puerto Rico as a travel destination jumped 23%, vacation package sales were up 12%, flights and hotel capacity have sharply rebounded, and four more cruise lines have visited the island.